Both steel and synthetic winchlines give a very small
amount of stretch, the equivalent of less than 1% at breaking
pressure. This tiny amount of stretch stores kinetic energy
that is released when the line breaks. Since steel winchline
is much heavier than synthetic winchline, the force of
that stored energy is devastatingly powerful, particularly
dangerous with people near. The synthetic line is so light
and therefore stores less kinetic energy, which when released,
the winchline virtually falls to the ground with a fraction
of the force of steel. For this reason, 4x4 offroad racing
sanctioning bodies do not allow steel cables because of
their inherent danger. Synthetic winchlines are now mandatory.
of Handling: Steel winch cables have a tendency
to kink, rust, and have very sharp strands once nicked.
They also tend to straighten by the nature of the material
making them harder to spool back on the winch properly.
Our synthetic winchlines have none of these problems.
However, synthetic lines are more susceptible to sharp
edges (bumpers in particular) and heat, but they are much
stronger, safer and easier to work with.
Dyneema® synthetic winchline fiber is up to 15 times
stronger than quality steel and 40% stronger than Aramid
fibers on weight for weight basis. This means the replacement
synthetic winchline is typically 35-45% stronger than
steel cable! Steel cables are typically sized to match
the strength of a winch. For example a 9,500 lb capacity
winch will have roughly a 9,500-10,000 lb capacity steel
cable. The replacement synthetic line would be 5/16"
(7.9mm) or 3/8" (9.5mm). Our Viking Winchlines are
rated at 12,300 lb (6 metric ton) for the 5/16" and
17,600 lb (8 metric ton) for 3/8", making them approximately
23% and 46% stronger on the conservative side.
note about "rated" strength of recovery equipment
for vehicles. There is no governing criteria
to measure the strength of products used in vehicle recovery.
Some products like hooks and shackles come from Overhead
Lifting industry that has strict rules about strength
measurements and safety factors. This is where WLL comes
from. WLL is Working Load Limit. Typically a run of the
mill Shackle for example will have a WLL of 4.75 US Ton
with a 4:1 safety factor or approximately a 38,000 Lb.
breaking strength. When it comes to the breaking strength
of rope it becomes even more confusing. There are several
methods by which rope is measured, and comparing these
data is like comparing apples and oranges. In the past
we have taken the widely accepted average breaking strength.
However, Viking Offroad has taken a lead by leveling the
field with a straight forward measurement: MBS or Minimum
Breaking Strength. Now all measurements of strength of
our products will live by these rules. Rated shackles
will be posted in our literature with their MBS, rather
than WLL, and all our ropes including winchlines will
carry the same MBS rating. This will appear that our winchlines
are not as strong as the advertised strenght of others.
But in reality, you will not know the truth about other
winchlines/ropes until true MBS is revealed. In addition,
our winchlines are break tested with eyes, whereas
some ropes are lab tested without eyes. It would do no
good giving out a number that is lab tested without eyes.
It's not the real world, beacause you need eyes on your
rope to connect it to a Tree Saver or another vehicle.
Bottom line is AmSteel Blue is made from the strongest
fiber available: Dyneema SK-75, and with a viking winchline
you can be assured of the best quality US and European
made goods. No imitations accepted.
Beware: There are variations of very strong synthetic
ropes that we have seen on the market. These can include
Amsteel rather than AmSteel-Blue (both can be blue and
virtually indistinguishable) and Dyneema SK-60 available
as well. Viking Offroad will never substitute synthetic
ropes of lesser strength or quality. We always use genuine
AmSteel-Blue™ (Viking Trail Line) for our winchlines.
are Genuine AmSteel-Blue™ with Samthane™, a
special coating to help resist abrasion. The raw material
in AmSteel-Blue™ is made from Genuine Dyneema®
SK-75 HMPE fiber, "which
is the worlds strongest fiber™" made by
DSM in the Netherlands.
Trail Lines are used in many areas: Recreational four
wheeling, racing, ATV's, and towing industry. They are
also used by the top trainers in the world including several
military groups such as Navy Seals, Army Rangers and the
Marines. Additional government agencies use our winchlines
including Fire and Police Departments, US Forest Service,
and California Coast Lifeguards. Winch line pictures below are just examples of the color, ALL winch lines come with the thimble and hook as pictured with the orange line.